A sign of the times: sick doctors and dentists need a “new service”.

I must add to a previous post where I implied that there was very little “National” left in our health services. There is, in addition now the Practitioner Health Programme

Image result for sick doctors cartoon

Kaya Burgess reports 21st October 2019 in the Times: NHS helpline for doctors’ mental health

All NHS doctors and dentists will now have access to mental health support after the creation of a service dedicated to the wellbeing of practitioners.

The NHS Practitioner Health Programme has a 24-hour helpline and text messaging service for staff struggling with their mental health, allowing them to seek support from specialists outside their own hospital or practice.

Last week an inquest was held at St Pancras coroner’s court into the death of Miles Christie, 43, a London GP and father of two who took his own life in May. His death prompted his widow to call for more support for medical professionals who may be reluctant to reveal their mental health problems for fear they would be deemed unfit to practise.

Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said: “It bears a heavy weight upon my shoulders when I hear of NHS staff that have taken their own lives and we should never underestimate the psychological strain that frontline healthcare work can have on individuals. Whilst many factors can play a part in such tragic circumstances, we have a moral duty to make the NHS the best employer possible.”

The new service was trialled for hospital doctors in London and then for GPs in England and went live across the country earlier this month for 180,000 doctors and dentists.

All NHS doctors and dentists will now have access to mental health support after the creation of a service dedicated to the wellbeing of practitioners.

The NHS Practitioner Health Programme has a 24-hour helpline and text messaging service for staff struggling with their mental health, allowing them to seek support from specialists outside their own hospital or practice.

Last week an inquest was held at St Pancras coroner’s court into the death of Miles Christie, 43, a London GP and father of two who took his own life in May. His death prompted his widow to call for more support for medical professionals who may be reluctant to reveal their mental health problems for fear they would be deemed unfit to practise.

Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said: “It bears a heavy weight upon my shoulders when I hear of NHS staff that have taken their own lives and we should never underestimate the psychological strain that frontline healthcare work can have on individuals. Whilst many factors can play a part in such tragic circumstances, we have a moral duty to make the NHS the best employer possible.”

The new service was trialled for hospital doctors in London and then for GPs in England and went live across the country earlier this month for 180,000 doctors and dentists.

There is a team of 200 specialists, which will expand further, dedicated to supporting practitioners. The service has a budget of £7 million a year.

The Department of Health and Social Care said: “Once a patient contacts the service they are provided with a link to the app where they can book appointments with a clinician of their choice.” This addresses concerns that doctors may end up being seen or treated by someone with whom they work.

The NHS Practitioner Health Programme: For confidential advice call 020 3049 4505 

What is National About the Health Services in the UK? I have thought of 10 areas…

Image result for sick doctors cartoon

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Retired, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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